World Renowned Musicians, Artists and Six-Time Emmy Award-Winning Filmmaker Come Together for Fifth Annual Event Honoring Lev Aronson

 World Renowned Musicians, Artists, and Six-Time Emmy Award-Winning Filmmaker Come Together for Fifth Annual Event Honoring Famous Cellist and Teacher, Lev Aronson.

 Fifth Annual Lev Aronson Festival returns to SMU this June.

DALLAS, Texas – May 25, 2016 – A group of elite artists in their respective industries will soon descend on Dallas’ Southern Methodist University for a once in a lifetime event honoring Lev Aronson, the legendary Eastern European-American cellist and teacher. Event organizer and founder Brian Thornton announced today the fifth annual Lev Aronson Legacy Festival, to be hosted June 10 through 17, 2017.

The seven-day festival will feature a series of concerts with first-class cellists and musicians, many previous students of Aronson, as well as master classes and presentations in memory of the cello virtuoso and Holocaust survivor.

In addition, an advanced private screening will be held for six-time Emmy award-winning filmmaker Ty Kim’s documentary film about the legendary life of Lynn Harrell, the world-renowned cellist and Dallas native. The Festival offers an open invitation to students, teachers of the cello and overall music lovers to spend a week immersed in the atmosphere of Southern Methodist University Meadows School of the Arts, where Aronson taught for many years.

As a young burgeoning cello soloist in Latvia during the 1930s and ‘40s, Lev Aronson, a Jew, was forced to survive in concentration camps during the German occupation of Latvia. After several years of hard labor and captivity, he escaped, immigrated to America, established himself anew as a concert cellist, and eventually served as principal cellist of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and became a highly influential cello instructor at both Baylor University and SMU. A biography by Frances Brent entitled The Lost Cellos of Lev Aronson, chronicles the influence Mr. Aronson has had on a generation of young cellists in America.

Public concerts and events during the Lev Aronson Legacy Festival include:

Saturday, June 10 at 7 p.m. – “At The Still Point Multimedia Wellness Concert” event will feature a live 45-minute concert on acoustic and electronic instruments by musician Dr. Benjamin Robison, and visual art physician-artist Dr. Matthew Wetschler.  Wetschler will share a deeply personal story of burnout and recovery with relevance to issues of wellness, self-care and mindfulness in health care.

 Sunday, June 11 at 7 p.m. – Advanced private screening of “Lynn Harrell’s 60-Year Journey in Music,” a work in progress documentary feature film by Ty Kim. This pre-release screening will be made even more special by the fact that both the film’s director, Ty Kim, and Maestro Harrell will appear live on stage to talk about their friendship, journey and the power of art to change lives.

Tuesday, June 13 at 7 p.m. – Recital by internationally known cellist Tom Landschoot.

 Wednesday, June 14 at 7 p.m. – A concert with critically acclaimed cellist, Karlos Rodriguez, hosted at All Good Café on Main St.

Thursday, June 15 at 1 p.m. – Recital by Melissa Kraut at the Dallas Holocaust Museum.

Thursday, June 15 at 7 p.m. – Recital by pianist Spencer Myer and Festival founder, creative director and artistic director, Brian Thornton. The duo will perform works of J.S. Bach and Debussy.

Saturday, June 17 at 7 p.m. – Recital by world renowned cellist Ralph Kirshbaum and pianist Spencer Myer, presenting music by Beethoven, Webern, Brahms, and Schumann.

 Tickets are available online, ranging from complimentary to $35 per event.

For more information on events, Lev Aronson and the fifth Annual Lev Aronson Legacy Festival, visit

About Lev Aronson Legacy Festival
This annual summer festival brings together cellists from across the country to honor Lev Aronson, a concentration camp survivor who went on to serve as principal cellist for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and whose teaching made a mark on many cellists. The festival takes place on the campus of Southern Methodist University.
For more information, visit
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